The vice-captain of the first team has now become the player with the fourth most appearances for the FC Barcelona first team. After featuring in the Clásico, Iniesta, who joined the club when he was just 12 years old, has now played more official matches than former goalkeeper Valdés and is only topped by Xavi, Puyol and Migueli.

Debut under Van Gaal

Iniesta made his debut in a Champions League game away to FC Bruges on 29 October 2002. He was 18 at the time and had the number 34 on his back when Louis Van Gaal picked him in the team against the Belgians. He has gone on to play 103 more games in the UCL, plus 354 in La Liga, 58 in the Spanish Cup, 10 in the Spanish Super Cup, 2 in the European Super Cup, 5 in the Clubs World Cup and 3 in the UEFA Cup.

53 goals

Iniesta has scored 53 goals in these games, the most memorable of which has to be the one against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge to qualify the team for the 2009 Champions League Final. In total, he’s scored ten UCL goals, plus 33 in La Liga, one against Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup and nine in the Spanish Cup.


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